Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados take top honors at Taste of the Caribbean

Dates for ‘Taste of the Caribbean 2011’ Announced: June 22-26 in Miami

Chef Graham Singer of Blue Water in Antigua & Barbuda was crowned Caribbean Chef of the Year at Taste of the Caribbean 2010.

THE CARIBBEAN – Barbados was awarded top honors as Culinary Team of the Year at the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s (CHTA) annual Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition hosted in Puerto Rico. The prestigious honor of Caribbean Chef of the Year, sponsored by Bahama Breeze, went to Graham Singer (pictured right) of Antigua & Barbuda, while Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Albert Uster Imports, Inc., was awarded to Antigua & Barbuda’s Maureen Bowers. The award for Caribbean Bartender of the Year was presented to Alva Preville of St. Lucia, and Puerto Rico’s Osvaldo Ortega took home the title of Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year.

Caption: Bajan Spirits were high as the Barbados Culinary Team was recognized as ‘Culinary Team of the Year’
*****hi-res images available; contact J.Kahn@KTCpr.com to request*****

Caption: CHTA Director General & CEO Alec Sanguinetti (leftmost), CHTA President Josef Forstmayr (second from left) and Creative Culinary & Beverage Solutions’ Rick Crossland (right) flank ‘Bartender of the Year’ Alva Preville of St. Lucia (left photo) and ‘Junior Chef of the Year’ Osvaldo Ortega of Puerto Rico (right photo)
*****hi-res images available; contact J.Kahn@KTCpr.com to request*****

Furthermore, Abhay Nair, a junior chef from Trinidad & Tobago, surprised everyone by taking the award for Most Innovative Dish (Spiced Rubbed Beef on a Mozarella and Shadon Benni Pesto alongside a Curried Chicken and Channa and Dashene accompanied with a Pumpkin and Sweet Pepper Chocka next to a Watermelon and Pineapple Chow) – an honor traditionally received by senior level chefs. This year marked the return of the junior chef competition to Taste of the Caribbean, a development that has been praised by local hotel & tourism associations for it’s encouragement of Caribbean youth.

“The Caribbean is home to many of the world’s most incredible flavors and this year’s Taste of the Caribbean was an amazing demonstration of our culinary passion,” said Josef Forstmayr, President of CHTA. “Let it never be said that the Caribbean is bland or boring,” he said, adding:

“When you hear about peppers and spices, people should know these are the flavors of the Caribbean. Let there not be another jerk restaurant in New York without people knowing immediately where this comes from,” remarked Forstmayr to a captive audience at the final evening’s award ceremony.

Another notable highlight, Antigua & Barbuda’s Maureen Bowers (pictured right) – this year’s Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year – credited the CHTA Education Foundation for making the award possible. A three-time recipient of the scholarship program, Bowers said she owes everything to the generosity of the Foundation and the CHTA members who support it.

“The CHTA Education Foundation congratulates Maureen Bowers on this outstanding achievement,” said Tom Pas, the Foundation’s Chairman. “Seeing Maureen on stage accepting her award is the best possible affirmation of everything the CHTA Education Foundation does for Caribbean students,” he noted.

CHTA Director General & CEO Alec Sanguinetti served as Master of Ceremonies for the Awards Presentation, joining Forstmayr in congratulating Barbados, the Taste of the Caribbean 2010 Culinary Team of the Year, as well as all participating teams. Special recognition was paid to the other finalist teams – Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago. Additional honors bestowed at Taste of the Caribbean included:

  • Caribbean Chef of the Year – sponsored by Bahama Breeze: presented to Graham Singer, Blue Waters, Antigua & Barbuda
  • Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year – sponsored by Albert Uster Imports: presented to Maureen Bowers, Hermitage Bay, Antigua & Barbuda
  • Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year: presented to Osvaldo Ortega, La Concha Hotel, A Renaissance Resort, Puerto Rico
  • Caribbean Bartender of the Year: presented to Alva Preville, Delirious Bar & Restaurant, St. Lucia
  • Highest Scoring Culinary Team – sponsored by Bahama Breeze: presented to the Barbados Culinary Team
  • Best Use of Certified Angus Beef® – sponsored by Certified Angus Beef: presented to the Barbados Culinary Team for Bajan Spiced Rubbed Coulote, Country Style Beef Stew with Rice and Vegetable Croquette, Ginger Scented Carrot Puree, Thyme Jus and Finished with a Breadfruit Chip
  • Best Use of Cheese – sponsored by U.S. Dairy Export Council: presented to the Trinidad & Tobago National Culinary Team for Peppered Shrimp upon a Tomato Choka Guacamole Mozzarella Roll served with Coconut Coo Coo and Turnip, “Grilled Roasted Corn Sauce” as well as Stewed Pineapple & Duo of Gorgonzola Cashew Nut Crumble topped with White Chocolate & Thyme Sour Cream enhanced with a Lemon Crème Anglose
  • Best Use of Chocolate – sponsored by Albert Uster Imports: presented to the U.S. Virgin Islands Culinary Team for Dark Chocolate Cayenne Silk Cake, Ripe Plantain V.I. Rum Ice Cream and Warm White Chocolate Ginger Mousse Strawberry Pearls
  • Hans Schank Commemorative Award for the Most Innovative Menu: presented to the Barbados Culinary Team for Pickled Island Conch with Sweet Potato Pudding, Honey Glazed Lamb Rib, Coconut Infused Eggplant, Tomato Jam and Herb Pesto, Bajan Spiced Rubbed Coulote, Country Style Beef Stew with Rice and Vegetable Croquette, Ginger Scented Carrot Puree, Thyme Jus and Finished with a Breadfruit Chip, Aaromatic Chocolate Pone Accompanied by Mango Cream, Nutmeg Cashew Cookie Crumbs and a Tropical Rum Sauce
  • Most Innovative Dish: presented to Abhay Nair, Junior Chef at Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago, for Spiced Rubbed Beef on a Mozarella and Shadon Benni Pesto alongside a Curried Chicken and Channa and Dashene accompanied with a Pumpkin and Sweet Pepper Chocka next to a Watermelon and Pineapple Chow
  • Most Creative Bartender: presented to Elton Sprauve, Mine Shaft Restaurant & Bar, British Virgin Islands
  • Most Creative Rum Drink: presented to Sean Daniel, TGIF Restaurant Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Most Creative Vodka Drink: presented to Joshua King, East End Café & The Cellar, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Most Creative Non-Alcoholic Drink: presented to Elton Sprauve, Mine Shaft Restaurant & Bar, British Virgin Islands
  • The Spirit of the Competition: presented to the Puntacana Resort & Club culinary team representing the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Bartender of the Year was presented to Alva Preville, Delirious Bar & Restaurant, St. Lucia.

Caribbean Chef Finals Medal Presentations

  • Gold Medal: Graham Singer, Blue Waters, Antigua & Barbuda
  • Silver Medals: Emmanuel Gibson, One & Only Ocean Club, Bahamas; and Sabrina Rosales, Sabrina Executive Caterers, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Bronze Medals: Charlesworth Jeremy, Jumby Resort, Antigua & Barbuda; Christopher Terry, Sugar Ridge Hotel Resort, Antigua & Barbuda; Clement Williams, Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, Bahamas; Richmond Flower, Lyford Cay Club, Bahamas; Andre Nurse, Hilton Barbados, Barbados; Mitchell Husbands, Coral Reef Club, Barbados; Wilwore Jordan, Sandy Lane Hotel, Barbados; Adrian Cumberbatch, The Carlton Savannah, Trinidad & Tobago; and Lennox Scott, Botticellis Restaurant, Trinidad & Tobago

Caribbean Junior Chef Medal Presentations

  • Silver Medals: Kevin Ho, Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality and Training Institute, Antigua & Barbuda; Osvaldo Ortega, La Concha Hotel, A Renaissance Resort, Trinidad & Tobago; and Abhay Nair, Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Bronze Medals: Wendy Miller, Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas; Stephanie Sayers, The Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados; Jason Dalmida, Bitter End Yacht Club, British Virgin Islands; and Jorge Negron, Copamarina Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
  • Honorable Mention: Ethan Wyatt, Rum Runners, U.S. Virgin Islands, the event’s youngest competitor at a mere 16 years old

Caribbean Pastry Chef Finals Medal Presentations

  • Silver Medals: Maureen Bowers, Hermitage Bay, Antigua & Barbuda; and Janelle Crawford, Almond Casuarina, Barbados
  • Bronze Medals: Eldred Saunders, The College Of The Bahamas, Bahamas; and Avanelle James, Café Del Mare at CrewsInn Hotel, Trinidad & Tobago

Caribbean Bartender Finals Medal Presentations

  • Gold Medal: Alva Preville, Delirious Bar & Restaurant, St. Lucia
  • Silver Medals: Ded Chazule, InterContinental San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Sean Daniel, TGIF Restaurant Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Bronze Medal: Joshua King, East End Café & The Cellar, U.S. Virgin Islands

Congratulations to the Barbados team who took home Culinary Team of the Year at Taste of the Caribbean 2010.

Caribbean Team Medal Presentations

  • Gold Medals: Team Bahamas, Barbados Culinary Team and Trinidad & Tobago National Culinary Team
  • Silver Medals: Antigua & Barbuda, BVI National Culinary Team, Puerto Rico National Culinary Team and U.S. Virgin Islands Culinary Team
  • Bronze Medals: National Curacao Culinary Team 2010, Puntacana Resort Club/Dominican Republic Team, Team Jamaica “The Irie Chefs” and Team St. Lucia

Additional Bartender Medals

  • Gold Medal: Ded Chazule, InterContinental San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Joshua King, East End Café & The Cellar, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Silver Medals: Elton Sprauve, Mine Shaft Restaurant & Bar, British Virgin Islands; Anthony Santos, Breezes Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino, Curacao; Fitzgerald Haughton, Half Moon, Jamaica; Alva Preville, Delirious Bar & Restaurant, St. Lucia; and Sean Daniel, TGIF Restaurant Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Bronze Medals: Kerry Ann Joseph, Sandals Grande Antigua; Wilfred Sands, Lyford Cay Club, The Bahamas; Harold Harper, Cava Bar, Barbados; and Richard Gonzalez, Puntacana Resort Club, Dominican Republic

In addition to the thrilling culinary competitions, delegates attending Taste of the Caribbean 2010 benefited from the following workshops and presentations:

  • Latest Restaurant Trends Offering Maximum Menu Profitability – presented by Josue Merced-Reyes, President, InterEmarketing; and Maggie O’Quinn, Executive Account Manager for Certified Angus Beef®
  • Master Bartender Mixology Techniques – presented by Rakesh Madoo, Lecturer/Trainer, Trinidad & Tobago Hospitality & Tourism Institute; and Josue Merced-Reyes, President, InterEmarketing
  • Chocolate Showpiece – presented by Chef Andrew Logan, Corporate Pastry Chef, Albert Uster Imports
  • Taste, Trends and Profitability with U.S. Cheeses – presented by Diahann Smith, Caribbean Account Manager, U.S. Dairy Export Council
  • Learn About the Reserve Brands: Ketel One Vodka and Ron Zacapa

CHTA also announced the dates for next year’s Taste of the Caribbean culinary competitions, which will be held in Miami from June 22-26, 2011. Next year’s event is expected to be even bigger and better than this year’s with five days of competitions, new categories such an Ice Carving competition and a greater emphasis on consumer interaction, targeting future vacationers with the delectable flavors of Caribbean cuisine.

Taste of the Caribbean 2010 was organized by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) and hosted in Puerto Rico at the Rio Mar Beach Resort, A Wyndham Grand Resort, by MasterCard, the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association (PRHTA) and Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC).

Event sponsors included Albert Uster Imports Inc., Bahama Breeze, Certified Angus Beef®, Ketel One, Ron Zacapa, Puerto Rico Tourism Company and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Product sponsors included Buckhead Beef, Certified Angus Beef®, FreshPoint, Halperns, Sea World, U.S. Meat Export Federation and U.S. Pork.

For more information on Taste of the Caribbean, visit the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association at www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com, or follow CHTA on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/CaribbeanHotelandTourismAssociation) and Twitter (www.Twitter.com/CHTAFeeds).

Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) facilitates the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members’ needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner. CHTA was founded in 1962; it is the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. Today, tourism is widely recognized as a pivotal industry in the economy of the region – and CHTA functions as the common denominator for this industry in a region of diverse nationalities, languages and styles, identifying mutual problems and marshalling the resources of the active and allied members to devise solutions. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 725 member hotels and 525 allied members.

For more information, visit http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

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